back to article Oz anti-gang law hits email, maybe torrents too

The Australian State of New South Wales has amended its Crimes Act with a new definition of ‘consorting’ that makes electronic communications evidence of participation in criminal groups. The new law is a second attempt at making it hard for motorcycle gangs to do business. Such gangs are suspected of playing a significant …


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  1. Thomas 18

    "Defendants will now have to disprove that they..."

    So I guess innocent until proven guilty is out the window.

    1. Dances With Sheep

      Re: "Defendants will now have to disprove that they..."

      Don't forget....... you can't prove a negative.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: "Defendants will now have to disprove that they..."

      Yes, that's right out of the window. Incidentally, I really dislike the phrase "innocent UNTIL proven guilty", this seems to imply that it's only a matter of time until defendant is proven guilty. "innocent UNLESS proven guilty" captures the idea better

    3. nexsphil

      Re: "Defendants will now have to disprove that they..."

      It was never in the window. In case you haven't worked it out yet, humans TALK SHIT. They love to promote all manner of high ideals when it makes them look good, but have no intention whatsoever of actually making an effort. Peace, free speech, democracy, justice, you name it - if you even get a half-assed husk of the original promise, you're doing very very well. Some day we'll all be made to hang our heads in shame like the pikey little primates we are. Yes, that includes you.

  2. mark 63 Silver badge

    mad max

    Australia seems to have a real problem with biker gangs.

    Fun and colourful caracters though they are I've ruled oz out as a place to excape to when society collapses - its gonna be proper Mad Max time out there.

    maybe NZ - they're nice people

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: mad max

      hmm... so you think NZ is without a gang problems?

      1. Rob 21

        Re: mad max

        I think the NZ gangs are Maori. They're just waiting for the Mad Max scenario to put Pakeha on the menu.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: mad max

      And you can't even defend yourself with laser pointers any more either

    3. Dances With Sheep

      Re: mad max

      Dude, I've been to Australia......

      Mad Max wasn't a film. It was a documentary.

    4. T J

      Re: mad max

      Nah the bikies are hardly ever visible, they just make good newspaper fodder. There was one infamous incident years ago when two gangs decided to shoot one another up at a country fete and a 12 year old girl bought the farm in the crossfire. The government and police should have just created a clandestine death squad and killed all of them, it was the only sensible course of action, but we have some of the most gutless politicians in the western world. As it was, the bikie world themselves - pretty much ruled here by the hells angels - took justice into their own hands and meted out some severe punishment. I'm grateful to them but it wasn't enough. Also here they are largely pussies: in Norway rival gangs take on one another with rocket launchers and no thats not a joke.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @mark 63

    Nowt wrong with Mad Max types - as long as you're on the right side.

  4. Is it me?

    Much easier solution

    Ban motorbikes with engines over 50cc.

    Come back the Yamaha FS1E, all is forgiven, it's difficult to look tough on a moped.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    Banning the bikes is not the solution

    Why, because the bikers would have to move over to the Furry Dice + Pimp Mobile brigade. [Should that be the Pimp Yute brigade...]

    The bikes look better than pimped up Yutes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Banning the bikes is not the solution

      Quite right.

      The wording of this newly proposed legislation is rather worrying though.

      "Defendants will now have to disprove"

      Are people to be persecuted or prosecuted?

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Banning the bikes is not the solution

      Fuck I got a thumbs down for a comment like that.- ( Ok a professional comedian I am not but shit I can't see how it would offend or upset any reasonably minded person. )

      Would the owner of the negative feedback at least have the courage to explain his actions.

      1. ChrisM

        Re: Banning the bikes is not the solution

        Wasn't me who thumbs down but was probably for the spelling of Ute (short for utility vehicle i understand)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No work for lawyers is a good thing

    "The new offence also makes it clear that consorting can occur in person or by any other means, including by electronic or other form of communication"

    So, basically the normal definition that any ordinary person would expect for the word? Yeah, what a bunch of fascists!

    Lawyers hate this sort of thing because it makes it hard for them to weasel guilty clients out of trouble.

    If I email you a message telling you to shoot some bloke, who in their right mind would say that was any different from saying it to your face?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: No work for lawyers is a good thing

      So, your idea of a good criminal justice system is one in which it's pointless to have a defense attorney? I'm glad you're not in charge - though you could probably win elected office in oz, from the look of things.

      How about this - you should go kill someone - Julia Gillard maybe? Or Kevin Rudd.. Aweseome. You know that's illegal, you can't prove you didn't intend to carry out my suggestion, and we communicated about the crime via electronic means! Don't bother getting a lawyer, though; there's no way to weasel out of this with a nasty lawyer. The law doesn't apply to your case? Well, you -would- say that, wouldn't you, *criminal!*

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No work for lawyers is a good thing

        I'm sorry you have trouble reading but that doesn't change the fact that I didn't mention the "prove you didn't" clause which is, of course, insane.

        So how about this: reply to what I said, not the idiot voice in your head.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No work for lawyers is a good thing

          'Guilty-until-proven-innocent' is only a small part of the law, and only a small part of my above response. It applies just as well - and the law is nearly as horrible - without it.

          The fact that you happen to agree with me on a small part of a multifaceted issue does not make you reasonable.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Simpsons

    I pretty much lost interest in them once I learned Bart is a scientologist.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. James Micallef Silver badge


    "improve on previous legislation by lowering the burden of proof required to show that someone participated in a criminal group. Defendants will now have to disprove that they “ … knew, or ought reasonably to have known …” that their activity “… contributed to the occurrence of a criminal activity.”"

    So defendants are now guilty unless they can prove they knew nothing about criminal activity.... since proving a negative of this type isn't possible, then they are de jure guilty. That for 'lowering the burden of proof' into negative territory. Sure that's an 'improvement'

  10. Mectron


    Now they all the proof they need to declare the MPAA/RIAA international terrorist, send a illegal hit squad in the USA and arrest all of MPAA/RIAA members for crimes agains mankind

  11. LaeMing Silver badge

    Okay now.

    Lets apply this new law to the gangs known as 'political parties'.

    Guilty unless (impossibly by definition) proved innocent. Yay!

  12. Bucky 2


    So, if some spammer sends an email to a gang member, it sounds like he can be prosecuted for "consorting" with the gang.


    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spam?

      Am I the only one who reads 'consorting' and envisions a elaborate 1700s English ball, with outrageously decked-out ladies and lords spinning round under giant chandeliers, engaging in dangerous politics and taboo romance one dance at a time?

      I mean, I hope not.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can gang members actually read?

    Maybe the gang members are more educated in Oz. The ones I see can't read or write so this law may not be very useful.

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